CA issues no TRO to stop criminal raps vs. Cornejo, Lee, 5 others

April 14, 2014 7:25 am 

By Perfecto T. Raymundo

MANILA, April 13 (PNA) — The Court of Appeals (CA) Special 4th Division has not issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) to stop the Department of Justice (DOJ) from pursuing the charges for serious illegal detention and grave coercion filed by actor-comedian Ferdinand "Vhong" Navarro against Deniece Cornejo, Cedric Lee and five other respondents.

However, the CA granted the motion for leave to admit attached supplemental petition, which is for the petition for certiorari and prohibition with plea for restraining order dated March 4, 2014, filed by the respondents.

Associate Justice Leocia R. Dimagiba, who is assigned to write the decision, ordered Prosecutor General Claro A. Arellano and the other respondents in the petition, DOJ Panel of Prosecutors and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), "to file comment/s to the petition and the supplemental petition, within ten (10) days from notice, incorporating therein arguments on why the temporary restraining order/writ of preliminary injunction prayed for should not be granted."

The CA said that Lee's camp may file their reply five days after the receipt of the comment.

It also held in abeyance its action on the prayer for the issuance of a TRO/WPI of Lee, et al.

Concurring with the resolution were Associate Justices Ricardo Rosario and Mario Lopez.

The DOJ has already filed charges for serious illegal detention and grave coercion against Lee and Deniece Cornejo, as well as five other respondents before the Taguig City Regional Trial Court (RTC).

The Taguig City RTC is set to hear the motion for judicial determination of probable cause filed by Cornejo, Lee and the five other respondents on April 15, 2014.

In the consolidated resolution dated April 4, 2014 which was approved by Prosecutor General Arellano and signed by the members of the panel, Assistant State Prosecutors Olivia Torrevillas, Hazel Decena-Valdez and Mari Elvira Herrera, probable cause was found to recommend the filing of the criminal charges against the seven respondents.

Also charged for serious illegal detention and grave coercion were Cedric’s sister Bernice Lee, Simeon Raz, Jose Paolo Calma, Ferdinand Guerrero and Jed Fernandez.

The three elements were found in the case for serious illegal detention in the complaint filed by Navarro, including deprivation of liberty and infliction of serious physical injuries.

On the other hand, the DOJ dismissed the rape case filed by Cornejo against Navarro. (PNA)

CTB/PTR

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